What were you up to 25 years ago this week? If you’re anything like me, you probably had to pull out a calendar and figure out what year that was. Let me save you a few minutes… 1998.

Since I started the Saturday Night Mix-Tape back in October of last year, I’ve had people throw me plenty of ‘theme’ ideas.

“You should do movie soundtrack night,” said one.

“Highlight an artist, like blah, blah, or blah,” said another.

“What about coinciding a show with a class reunion?”

Admittedly, there are a million ways I could go each week, but so far, I’ve just had a blast playing all of my favorite jams of the 80s and 90s.

I thought it might be interesting to pick a random number, so I settled on what was going on in the world twenty-five years ago this week… that’s right, the first week of March, 1998.

Well, Bill Clinton was in the White House, and while rumors were swirling about what happened with Monica Lewinsky in January, it wouldn’t be until August that Bill would admit to an “inappropriate relationship” with the intern.

I was doing afternoons on our Top-40 station, Y105, and was filling the airwaves with the sweet sounds of Celine Dion, Savage Garden, and the Backstreet Boys. In fact, Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” was the number one song on the radio, and the love theme from “Titanic,” which was the number one movie at the box office. Folks were still laughing at Adam Sandler in “The Wedding Singer,” which was released just a few weeks before on Valentine’s Day weekend.

On television, we had Friends, Ellen, ER, and Frasier. We found out Everybody Loves Raymond, laughed at Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor on Home Improvement, and got caught up in the drama of Beverly Hills, 90210.

Kids were first tuning into Pokemon, Teletubbies, and Rugrats.

VCRs were still all the rage, as many of us would take our Friday night drive out to Blockbuster or Family Videos to stock up on the new movie releases or video game rentals. (Just make sure you “be kind, and rewind” before returning them to the store!)

Here’s the other thing that might take you on a trip down memory lane… the cell phone.

In 1998, most people still had landlines in their homes… or worse yet, grandma’s house, with the old rotary phone…

I remember my Aunt Gail, who lived in Chicago, celebrated her birthday on New Year’s Day. Every New Year’s Eve, my family would gather around the phone and call her to sing “happy birthday.” My father would always make sure the crowd was gathered up around the phone, because this was a “long distance call,” so we would only get about 60 seconds to sing to her before quickly passing the phone around to say "hello."

Thanks to cell phones, “long distance” charges became a thing of the past, but in the early days you still had to navigate carefully. Most cell phones came with minute-packages. 200 minutes a month… 300 minutes a month… 400 minutes a month, plus "free nights and weekends!"

Over time, this seemed to get better and better. Eventually, most everything talk-related became unlimited… it was just the ‘data’ we had to worry about.

In 1998, the form of communication that was gathering traction was a new thing called “text messaging.” One of the early drawbacks that you may not remember was to text with another person, you both had to be on the same cell network.

Thanks to the text, pagers were starting to go extinct, and in less than a decade the technology would completely disappear.

So, let’s go back this weekend and relive the year 1998. Where were you in life? What were you up to? Drop me a note via the Q1075 free mobile app, or drop me a call at 563-585-1075… you can use your cell phone… you should have plenty of minutes! 😊

~Chris Farber – Saturday Night Mix-Tape

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